Where would you go to prove that?
JOHN: Well, I would go to two Scriptures that come to mind immediately. The first one would be in Jude, where Jude explicitly says that, “the faith” – and “the faith” in New Testament usage is that body of divine revelation that we know constitutes Scripture – “the faith once for all delivered to the saints.” And you could even say it, “the once for all delivered to the saints faith.” This is similar language to what the apostle Paul uses when he talks about the deposit, the deposit of divine truth to be guarded, and he speaks of that. That would be one thing I would use.
The second passage that I would go to would be the dialog that Jesus has in John 14 to 16 with the apostles in which He declares to them that they will become the inspired writers of Scripture, that the Holy Spirit will reveal these things to them, bring things to their mind, and speak to them of things concerning Himself, and that they would write these things down. The authors of Scripture then are the apostles and those associated with the apostles, who then brought together the deposit, which was the once for all delivered to the saints faith. That body of truth that was written by apostolic authors under Holy Spirit inspiration.
And then I would add Revelation 22, which this is at the end of everything. And this book was written thirty years after the other late books of the New Testament. So thirty years later, God brings an end to divine revelation through the apostle John and closes it all off with a warning that if you add anything to what is written in these books shall be added to you the plagues that are written in it.
So I think if you just look at those passages you can see that this is a body of truth. And John is the last surviving apostle. And he passes away, and the apostolic era is over, and with it the revelation is complete, and the signs and wonders that attested to them end because they were the signs of an apostle to validate them as the writers of Scripture and the spokesmen for God.
PHIL: Right. And earlier, you also mentioned where Paul says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and it’s able to equip us for every good work.” Would you say that that’s an explicit statement of the principle?
JOHN: It is, because if there was more to come, then Scripture wouldn’t be enough to complete us, right? So if you say it’s enough to thoroughly furnish, as the Authorized put it, or to make the man of God complete, then it is enough. So that validates the sufficiency of Scripture; and the sufficiency of Scripture speaks to the close of the canon, speaks to the composite finishing of Scripture.